Skip to main content
74 To the Hon. Henry Seymour Conway [1740
into my head, that it is like Hamilton's Bawn \ and I must write to you. 'Tis the top of a black barren mountain, a vile little town at the foot of an old citadel: yet this, know you, was the residence of one of the three kings that went to Christ's birth-day; his name was Alabaster, Abar-assar, or some such thing; the other two were kings, one of the East, the other of Cologne. 'Tis this of Coffano, who was represented in an ancient painting, found in the Palatine Mount, now in the possession of Dr. Mead2; he was crowned by Augustus. Well, but about writing—what do you think I write with ? Nay, with a pen; there was never a one to be found in the whole circumference but one, and that was in the possession of the governor, and had been used time out of mind to write the parole with: I was forced to send to borrow it. It was sent me under the conduct of a Serjeant and two Swiss, with desire to return it when I should have done with it. 'Tis a curiosity, and worthy to be laid up with the relics which we have just been seeing in a small hovel of Capucins on the side of the hill, and which were all brought by his Majesty from Jerusalem. Among other things of great sanctity there is a set of gnashing of teeth, the grinders very entire ; a bit of the worm that never dies, preserved in spirits; a crow of St. Peter's cock, very useful against Easter; the crisping and curling, frizzling and frowncing of Mary Magdalen, which she cut off on growing devout. The good man that showed us all these commodities was got into such a train of calling them the blessed this, and the blessed that, that at last he showed us a bit of the blessed fig-tree that Christ cursed.
LETTER 33.—* The subject of a Malt-Hcruse (1729).
Swift's poem, The Grand Question 2 Eichard Mead (1673-1754), a weU-
debated whether Hamilton's Bawn known physician and connoisseur, should be turned into a Barrack or